Dear Friends of Untermyer Gardens,
I write at a moment of profound unrest in our country that reflects deep wounds and divisions. More than ever, I regret that our doors are closed when so many need the garden’s solace. Untermyer Gardens welcomes all people, and that inclusive spirit is reflected in its very design. Nowhere is this more evident than in the Walled Garden. Far from shutting out the world, the Walled Garden is a marvel of multicultural influences. Its essence resonates with the ancient concept of the Garden of Eden, an earthly paradise. May Untermyer Gardens stand as a symbol of what can be achieved when mutual respect, compassion, and understanding come together: peace.
So many of you have expressed disappointment at the garden’s closure, and I thank you for your continued patience.The decision to open our gates will be made by the City of Yonkers in conformance with the governor’s metrics as soon as safety permits. That said, at least we are allowed to give guided tours to small groups of no more than ten people, which we will offer again this weekend. You can sign up here. We are offering two special tours this Saturday. For those who want to experience the gardens but not necessarily all of its hills, our 2:30PM Saturday tour will take a shorter, less strenuous route. And, for anyone who loves plants, our 4:30PM Saturday tour will focus on horticulture.
We continue to offer weekly virtual yoga classes with Sarah Knox and have scheduled another photo walk with Jessica Norman. If you missed my webinar last month about Samuel Untermyer and his garden, which drew 264 attendees, you will have another chance on June 11 at 5:30. Please sign up with the New York Adventure Club here.
Behind our locked gates, more progress is being made daily. Two weeks ago, the gardeners largely completed the woody planting of the Rhododendron Walk with the addition of 70 more rhododendrons and complementary plants. The whole area has been transformed and is full of color. Eventually an understory of herbaceous plants will complete the scheme.
Stephen F. Byrns
President, Untermyer Gardens Conservancy